City of Brass

City of Brass


nuevo-conservatism

posted by Aziz Poonawalla

The topic of conservatism’s intellectual decline is one I’ve been talking about a lot recently; I’ve been remiss in not mentioning the recent piece on that topic in the WaPo by Steven Hayward. He makes a number of points, but here’s I think his main argument:

[It] was not enough just to expose liberalism’s weakness; it was also necessary to offer robust alternatives for both foreign and domestic policy, ideas that came to fruition in the Reagan years. Today, it is not clear that conservative thinkers have compelling alternatives to Obama’s economic or foreign policy. At best, the right is badly divided over how to fix the economy and handle Iran and Afghanistan. So for the time being, the populists alone have the spotlight.



The single largest defect of modern conservatism, in my mind, is its insufficient ability to challenge liberalism at the intellectual level, in particular over the meaning and nature of progress. In response to the left’s belief in political solutions for everything, the right must do better than merely invoking “markets” and “liberty.”

As mainstream “Happy Meal” conservatism wanes under populist and knee-jerk response dogma, there’s an opening for a new generation of conservatives who stand out all the more. The best example in my mind is the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. Other examples of nuevo-cons are Rod Dreher, Daniel Larison, and Reihan Salaam. These are the names to watch. It’s they who will take the Reagan era conservative ideals and synthesize them into the modern age, making them relevant again.

One thing conservatives have to accept though is that there is no more validity to the concept of small govt. Its always going to big. The question is, how will it be used? My own liberal and libertarian inclinations combine in such a way as to favor govt action on the major issues so that govt is too busy to act on the small ones. Frankly, I fear the tyranny of local govt far more because there are fewer checks and balances on it; the threat of economic oppression by unrestrained capitalism also is something conservative ideology is tailormade to defend against. The challenge for conservatives now is to dial back on the rhetoric and re-examine the issues of today with the core principles – freedom, opportunity, culture – instead of blindly applying dogma (limited govt, lower taxes) like a blunt instrument.

Related: “The Death of Conservatism” by Sam Tanenhaus. See an interview with Tanenhaus where he lays out his basic thesis.

UPDATE: Speaking of the LOG, how could I fail to link their own response to Hayward’s piece (with some cogent critique)?



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.



Previous Posts

Tweeting the Qur'an #ttQuran
My friend Hussein Rashid launched the idea of Tweeting the Qur’an a few years ago and the idea has steadily caught on, and even at

posted 1:04:00pm Jul. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The Criterion: reading the Qur'an is the foundation of ibadat in Ramadan
Ramadan is one-third over. Unlike past years, I've not written as much about my observances this year because I've been dedicated to

posted 1:00:20pm Jul. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Nominations now open for the 11th Annual Brass Crescent Awards
The Brass Crescent Awards is an annual awards ceremony that honors the best writers and thinkers of the emerging Muslim blogosphere (aka the Islamsphere). Nominations are taken from blog readers, who then vote for the winners. Founded in 2004 by myself and Shahed Amanullah, the Brass Crescent Awa

posted 5:18:45am Jun. 29, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan Kareem from the Democratic Party and President Obama
The official twitter handle of the Democratic Party (@TheDemocrats) just posted this Ramadan Kareem message quoting President Obama: https://twitter.com/TheDemocrats/status/482895697222443008 "Ramadan reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves an

posted 4:00:46pm Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Ramadan is coming - or has already arrived
Ramadan Mubarak! By the lunar Fatimid calendar, today (Saturday 28th June) is the 1st of Ramadan. The Mecca-centric calculations of The Fiqh Council of North America (affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America) also concur with the lunar calendar in declaring today the 1st of Ramada

posted 9:40:22am Jun. 28, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.